Sunday, September 27, 2015

Robert Simon: A Man With A Plan

The visionary developer, Robert E. Simon Jr., passed away earlier this week in Reston, Virginia, the planned community he designed outside Washington. In his 101 years he watched urban planning and design evolve from Victorian influences to full professionalism expressed in the New Urbanism movement we know today.

Robert E. Simon 

First phase of Reston: Lake Anne, Lake Anne Village and Heron House, 1963
From its modest beginnings, Reston has grown to become a community of over 60,000 residents. Planner including Erik Vogt, Marieanne Khoury-Vogt, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk have taken Simon's visions to new heights in several developments across the country. Here are some examples, including a stunning video of Alys Beach, Florida.

Seaside, Florida, location for the film, The Truman Show

New Town  at St. Charles, Missouri, 2008

The modern livable community may seem elusive but a fine blending of residences, businesses, recreational opportunities and transportation systems in a landscape can be raised to the remarkable. Granted, the examples here are costly. On the other hand, the design principles you see can be applied to almost economic spectrum. For that, we can thank Robert E. Simon for helping us see the possibilities of people living in communities designed in nature.



Robert E. Simon Jr.,
Lake Anne Village, anonymous photo, George Mason University Repository Center
New Town,

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